A women's movement affiliated with the Waikato Mongrel Mob has lodged the first-ever all-female gang claim with the Waitangi Tribunal.
Wāhine Toa say they've suffered for decades from the violence of male gang members. They say their fate is the result of colonialism and the Crown has failed in its obligation to protect them.
The Mongrel Mob Kingdom Wāhine Toa says the Crown failed to stop disproportionately high levels of harm and discrimination they suffered because they're Māori, they're women and they're associated with gangs.
"Our women have been subjected to much hurt throughout time, really since colonisation and it's important that their stories are heard," Wāhine Toa branch leader Paula Ormsby says.
Gang claims with the Waitangi Tribunal are nothing new but this is the first by their women who say Māori men's attitudes to violence towards women were distorted by western values.
"Our argument is with colonialism - which doesn't excuse our men in any way - but it's the reason behind the way they have reacted," Ormsby says.
However ACT Party leader David Seymour says the women have gone too far.
"My heart goes out to them for trying but if your attitude is that today's problems are caused by things that happened 200 years ago you are not going to be able to fix it because we can't go back 200 years and change these things," he says.
"What we need to fix the problem of women and children trapped in gangs is better education, welfare reform and to get tough on crime."
And while some argue that women choose to join gangs, the counterargument is that many women are born into gangs while others are wards of the state.
"And the state was a very terrible parent and there was huge hurt and trauma associated with that," Ormsby says.
The first hearings will take place before Waitangi Day with any final settlement invested in healing programmes and lifting the women out of poverty.